MANY NIGERIAN YOUTHS UNEMPLOYABLE – IVIE TEMITAYO – IBITOYE

Ivie Temitayo-Ibitoye, is the lead consultant at Elite Hunters, a recruitment and HR development firm. She speaks with MOBOLA SADIQ about the mistakes many businesses make regarding HR structure and talent management

As the lead consultant at Elite Hunters, what exactly do you do?

I am responsible for developing strategies to attract, develop and retain talent for corporate organisations and SMEs in diverse industries across Nigeria, as well as provide individuals with recruitment opportunities and employability strategies for career growth.

How would you describe your experience as a recruitment and HR development consultant?

My experiences have been very educative and revealing. I have become more aware of the employability gaps amongst potential employees in the country, as well as the mistakes many businesses make regarding HR structure and talent management.

Do you think the labour market is favourable to job seekers?

No; it is highly competitive. Due to the huge mass of unemployed people in the country, there is more pressure on a potential job seeker to stand out in the labour market and invariably get a job.

What are the requisites a job seeker needs to have to compete favourably in the labour market?

A job seeker must have the customised functional and general skill sets required for any job or prospective employer. By general skill sets, I mean emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, among others, while functional skills are specific to the function or role being applied for.

It has been said that many Nigerian youths are not employable. Can this be true?

My estimate is that 80 to 90 per cent of graduates are actually unemployable.
In the past eight years of working as a recruiter, I have discovered that the educational system has contributed to the ‘unemployability’ of many of our youths. Many Nigerian youths go to universities and graduate with degrees that have no direct correlation with what the jobs (they are seeking) require, even though they had read something close in some cases. A person may have studied Banking and Finance, but a bank would still have to train the person for five months before he or she can work with them. It is not unusual to meet graduates of English Language who cannot write articles. We find that most of them are focused on salary, rather than personal development. So, when you give them an opportunity to make up for their lack of skill and knowledge, by employing them, they turn down the job offer because the salary is not enough for them.

What challenges do professionals in your field face?

Finding great talent to hire for organisations has been a major challenge. We put out job adverts and have hundreds of people apply, but we are still unable to shortlist any due to poorly written email applications, resumes and cover letters.

What are your personal challenges on the job as a woman?

I have had none. I have enjoyed growth in my career and I’ve been able to make it this far with a lot of support from family and friends.

When did you set up your company and how did you come about the name?

The company was founded in 2012.

‘Elite’ means a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society. ‘Hunters’ was got from the word ‘Hunt’. This means at Elite Hunters, we make it our priority to identify and source for the best talents to fill the positions required by our clients.

What other grounds do you hope to cover in the next five years?

I hope to be a catalyst for solving unemployment issues in Nigeria and also help to build platforms that will train people and help them become more employable.

What’s your advice to companies that want to grow and maintain an enviable standard?

They need to invest in their people, and build their own proprietary curriculum. They also have to be sincere about their mission and values, and have the right culture.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

Reading the newspaper to my dad is one of my fondest childhood memories. I learnt to read early and spent a lot of time with my dad mimicking the newscasters I watched on TV.

What is your favourite dish?

I like plantain and any nice sauce.

What do you do for fun?

I watch movies, or try a new recipe.

What’s your advice to young ladies trying to carve a niche for themselves?

Be dedicated and committed to your dream and goal. Don’t give up, but stay focused on your focus.

Source Punch

How to build self-confidence

Featured photo credit: The Stilled Man

By Azugbene Solomon

“Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.” — Maxwell Maltz

Nobody is born with limitless self-confidence. If someone seems to have incredible self-confidence, it’s because he or she has worked on building it for years. Self-confidence is something that you learn to build up because the challenging world of business, and life in general, can deflate it.

An online negative review, a request for a refund from a customer or a flat rejection from investors can cause our self-confidence to dwindle. Well-meaning but sometimes unkind comments from those closest to us can also hit us hard.

On top of this, we have to deal with our inner critic of self-doubt that constantly tells us that we are not good enough. When bombarded by so many elements that threaten our self-confidence, we need to take charge of building it up for ourselves.

As we teach at Skill Incubator, building a successful business requires a thick skin and unshakable confidence in your ability to overcome obstacles.

10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence

Confidence can be a tough thing to build up. We’ve put together some handy tips to help you out.

Here are 10 things you can do to build up your self-confidence.

1. Visualize yourself as you want to be.

“What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill

Visualization is the technique of seeing an image of yourself that you are proud of, in your own mind. When we struggle with low self-confidence, we have a poor perception of ourselves that is often inaccurate. Practice visualizing a fantastic version of yourself, achieving your goals.

2. Affirm yourself.

“Affirmations are a powerful tool to deliberately install desired beliefs about yourself.” — Nikki Carnevale

We tend to behave in accordance with our own self-image. The trick to making lasting change is to change how you view yourself.

Affirmations are positive and uplifting statements that we say to ourselves. These are normally more effective if said out loud so that you can hear yourself say it. We tend to believe whatever we tell ourselves constantly. For example, if you hate your own physical appearance, practice saying something that you appreciate or like about yourself when you next look in the mirror.

To get your brain to accept your positive statements more quickly, phrase your affirmations as questions such as, “Why am I so good at making deals?” instead of “I am so good at making deals.” Our brains are biologically wired to seek answers to questions, without analyzing whether the question is valid or not.

3. Do one thing that scares you every day.

“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” — T. Harv Eker

The best way to overcome fear is to face it head-on. By doing something that scares you every day and gaining confidence from every experience, you will see your self-confidence soar. So get out of your comfort zone and face your fears!

4. Question your inner critic.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise L. Hay

Some of the harshest comments that we get come from ourselves, via the “voice of the inner critic.” If you struggle with low self-confidence, there is a possibility that your inner critic has become overactive and inaccurate.

Strategies such as cognitive behavioral therapy help you to question your inner critic, and look for evidence to support or deny the things that your inner critic is saying to you. For example, if you think that you are a failure, ask yourself, “What evidence is there to support the thought that I am a failure?” and “What evidence is there that doesn’t support the thought that I am a failure?”

Find opportunities to congratulate, compliment and reward yourself, even for the smallest successes. As Mark Twain said, “[A] man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

5. Take the 100 days of rejection challenge.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Jia Jiang has become famous for recording his experience of “busting fear” by purposefully making crazy requests of people in order to be rejected over 100 days. His purpose was to desensitize himself to rejection, after he became more upset than he expected over rejection from a potential investor. Busting fear isn’t easy to do, but if you want to have fun while building up your self-confidence, this is a powerful way to do it.

6. Set yourself up to win.

“To establish true self-confidence, we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives.” — Denis Waitley

Too many people are discouraged about their abilities because they set themselves goals that are too difficult to achieve. Start by setting yourself small goals that you can win easily.

Once you have built a stream of successes that make you feel good about yourself, you can then move on to harder goals. Make sure that you also keep a list of all your achievements, both large and small, to remind yourself of the times that you have done well.

Instead of focusing only on “to-do” lists, I like to spend time reflecting on “did-it” lists. Reflecting on the major milestones, projects and goals you’ve achieved is a great way to reinforce confidence in your skills.

7. Help someone else.

Helping someone else often enables us to forget about ourselves and to feel grateful for what we have. It also feels good when you are able to make a difference for someone else.

Instead of focusing on your own weaknesses, volunteer to mentor, assist or teach another, and you’ll see your self-confidence grow automatically in the process.

8. Care for yourself.

“Self-care is never a selfish act — it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer

Self-confidence depends on a combination of good physical health, emotional health and social health. It is hard to feel good about yourself if you hate your physique or constantly have low energy.

Make time to cultivate great exercise, eating and sleep habits. In addition, dress the way you want to feel. You have heard the saying that “clothes make the man.” Build your self-confidence by making the effort to look after your own needs.

9. Create personal boundaries.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”– Harvey Fierstein

Learn to say no. Teach others to respect your personal boundaries. If necessary, take classes on how to be more assertive and learn to ask for what you want. The more control and say that you have over your own life, the greater will be your self-confidence.

10. Shift to an equality mentality.

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” — Marilyn Monroe

People with low self-confidence see others as better or more deserving than themselves. Instead of carrying this perception, see yourself as being equal to everyone. They are no better or more deserving than you. Make a mental shift to an equality mentality and you will automatically see an improvement in your self-confidence.

Conclusion
Try to find something that you’re really passionate about. It could be photography, sport, knitting or anything else! When you’ve worked out your passion, commit yourself to giving it a go. Chances are, if you’re interested or passionate about a certain activity, you’re more likely to be motivated and you’ll build skills more quickly.

Sometimes the quick fixes don’t help in the long term. If you’re feeling bad and things just don’t seem to be improving, it’s worth talking to someone who knows how to help.

Reference
10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence by Chris W. Dunn. Entrepreneur.com

5 Steps to Be Taken Seriously As a young Entrepreneur


By Joshua Davidson


I remember the days of walking door-to-door in my home town, asking small businesses the opportunity to allow me to create for them a website. The entire first month that I began Chop Dawg, I was turned down over 100 times. Yes that is right; I kept count. It wasn’t until the very last shopping center that I talked to in my town that our first closed contract would be signed — or even acknowledged.

Being a young entrepreneur was rough at the start. Let’s face it, I was an overly excited kid with way too much hair. I couldn’t dress professionally, even if the clothes were laid out in front of me, and had a little to no track record to back myself up. To make matters worse, having a sales pitch nailed down at the beginning wasn’t even my forte either.

So how did I overcome this and end up making Chop Dawg what it is today?

1) Build a Portfolio

This is the most critical of the five steps that I am sharing with you. You need a backing, a calling card, proof that you can deliver as a first time entrepreneur to potential clients. Validation is key. You need to have a portfolio, a case study, an example of what it is that you are trying to sell that you have delivered in the past.

When I started Chop Dawg, I honestly used the fake it until you make it mentality. I had created multiple websites for my own personal benefit, for my own skillset, and knowledge growth. This ended up making the first portfolio that I would share with potential clients at the time. The thing is, I had all the confidence in the world because I honestly believed (and knew) that my stuff blew away the competition in my town. The end result? Ability to sign my first (few) clients and begin growing my business from there.

2) Build a Reputation

When you begin working with others, focus on maintaining the highest quality of customer service possible, create (or provide) the best product possible, and make sure to really learn your clients. I am not just talking about their businesses, learn about them. What do they like? What are they into? What are their passions? What can you learn from them?

When you do this, you are now building the start of your reputation. They will pass this along to their colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family and word will travel. Nothing is more powerful than word of mouth. We still use this today to bring in many of our new clients, using our existing client relationships. Hell, even the ones that aren’t referring us, we use them as a reference. It is a mutually beneficial relationship. However, you can’t just count on this. You need to over deliver to establish this trust, this relationship, and this reputation. Always go above and beyond for your clients.

3) Use the Networks of Others

Circling back from above, use the networks of your first customers to your advantage. Odds are, most entrepreneurs know other entrepreneurs. Most executives know other executives. Most sales people know others in sales. We all talk and network with one another, especially in the same verticals, when it comes to our industries. Odds are, that means they know your exact target audience, since you’re already working with them. Again, merging your reputation, portfolio, and track record with an existing customer — use this all to your benefit. Don’t forget too, name dropping people you have worked with that others would know is a huge advantage to being taken seriously.

Another shot of a young me (Joshua Davidson) back when I started Chop Dawg in 2009.

4) Dress the Part

I am not suggesting that you should be showing up to new customer meetings in a tuxedo, but don’t dress as many young individuals do. I made this mistake personally, and trust me, I probably left thousands of dollars on the table at a young age due to this costly mistake.

It is proven that when you dress well, people take you seriously, no matter how young or old that you are. I make it a point every day to always wear a button up and, at least, presentable clothing around that. Do the same. Dress how you would want people to treat you and to think of you. Show that you care about yourself as much as you care about your new business venture and your customers. First impressions are key and again, tie into all of the factors listed above.

5) Leverage Your Young Age to Your Advantage

This is honestly the most underrated aspect of being a young entrepreneur (which I miss) — people eat up a great story. Nothing was better than the free publicity that I used to get from colleagues, clients, and even the media about being a 16–18 year old entrepreneur with a thriving and growing business. People love this, because it is that classic underdog story; it is the story of someone doing something most people dream about doing. And above all, it makes a great story. Leverage this to your advantage for free advertising, free word of mouth, and free traction, which you cannot leverage later on life. This is an opportunity of a lifetime for some — use it.

Starting my company at such a young age was the greatest decision that I ever made. I never envisioned Chop Dawg to be the company that it is today, helping everyday entrepreneurs with technical ideas, and turning them into reality. With that mentioned, it was a blessing to go through a lot of the learning curves early on in life. And for those who are young and on the fence about starting, my suggestion for you is just to start. You’ll learn as you go, you will make mistakes, but most importantly, if you are a real entrepreneur, you will learn over time exactly what problems need solutions and how to monetize those solutions to turn your startup into a thriving company.


This article was first published at www.medium.com


3 Crucial Marketing Tips For Young Entrepreneurs


By Nicolas Cole


We live in a day and age now where entrepreneurship is “cool.”

I remember being a teenager, obsessed with the World of Warcraft and online blogging, and being met with complete and total opposition when it came to building a career for myself on the Internet.

Today, digital entrepreneurship is exceedingly common.

In fact, more and more young people see the Internet as their greatest asset for turning what they love into a viable career path.

If you want to get into entrepreneurship at a young age, then here are 3 lessons that took me a while to learn—and will hopefully save you some valuable time.

1. What’s Your “Reason To Believe?”

This is a lesson I learned working at my first (and only) job out of college, a digital marketing agency in Chicago called Idea Booth.

If your product/service disappeared from the world tomorrow, what would the world be missing?

Would anyone care?

It’s a tough question, but it’s also the most important question.

Why should people pay attention to what you’re doing?

Why should people BELIEVE in you!

Successful marketing comes from having a clear vision free of rationalization. As a mentor of mine, Ron Gibori, used to tell me:

“The moment you start rationalizing with your customer, you’ve stopped selling them the dream and started selling them a product or service.”

You shouldn’t have to “convince” anyone.

People should hear your message and want what you have to offer.

Before you really start marketing what you do or whatever it is you’re selling, you have to come to some conclusion as to what you want them to BELIEVE about you.

2. Quality and then More Quality

There’s this common misconception in the digital age that what you share online should be good, but it shouldn’t be everything you know.

You shouldn’t reveal your secret recipe — that’s what people pay for!

FALSE.

The best blog posts and content pieces are the ones that walk any person through the tough questions.

They’re the ones that “bare all” and tell it exactly like it is.

Virality is not always about shock value or entertainment. It’s about REAL value.

It’s about educating a reader to the point where they feel as though you just gave them something of extreme value without them having to pay a cent for it.

This is what earns their trust and makes them willing to then become a customer or consumer in the future.

So, when marketing your product or service, over-deliver.

Give more than you should.

Share relentlessly and show people that you aren’t just selling something.

You are giving—and giving far more than is required.

3. If You Can’t Measure It, Don’t Do It.

Another saying my mentor, Ron, used to tell me all the time:

“If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.”
What this means is, you might think you have a great idea, you might love how it looks and feels and you think everyone is going to love it…

…but take a step back.

How are you going to measure its success?

And more importantly, is this effort continuing to drive the larger goal for your business?

Young entrepreneurs fall into the trap of wanting to do “everything.”

It’s a never-ending cycle of throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.

And rarely is this approach a good idea.

It’s far better to get clear on your end goal, find ways to work towards that goal, and then put specific metrics in place that will help give you feedback as to whether or not you are moving in the right direction — or if you’re moving too slow or too fast.

Without measurement, your efforts will leave you feeling like you’re doing A LOT without getting much DONE.


This article was first published at www.artplusmarketing.com


8 Wacky Entrepreneur Stories to Inspire Your Own Business Success


By Adam Heitzman


Many entrepreneurs are known for being colorful characters, here are 8 colorful stories to help inspire your own business success.

The business world might appear buttoned-down from the outside — but in reality, it’s a lot more interesting than you might realize. Many entrepreneurs are known for being colorful characters, both at work and in their personal lives. After all, following rules and staying inside the lines doesn’t often make for business success! From winning seed money in a poker game to attempting to clone dinosaurs, here are eight unexpected things that entrepreneurs have done.

1. John Paul DeJoria Bounced Back from Homelessness

You’ve probably heard of Paul Mitchell hair products and Patrón tequila, but did you know these brands have a common origin? John Paul DeJoria co-founded both legendary companies, becoming a billionaire along the way. The path to success wasn’t always easy for him, though. DeJoria spent time on the streets twice. The first time he was homeless, he was only 22 and had a two-year-old son to care for. He persisted in his entrepreneurial vision, though, eventually co-founding John Paul Mitchell Systems with $700 in startup cash. Today, DeJoria is a philanthropist who supports a number of social causes. Among other things, he helps to provide resources to people dealing with homelessness.

2. David Daneshgar Won Startup Money by Playing Poker

What’s the quickest way to come up with $30,000? If you’re a card shark like David Daneshgar, the answer might be to sign up for a poker tournament. Daneshgar and two friends wanted to start an online marketplace connecting florists with customers, but they didn’t have startup cash. So Daneshgar — who won the World Series of Poker in 2008 — spent $1000 to enter a poker tournament. The grand prize of $30,000 was, coincidentally, just the amount of money they needed. At the end of the tense final round, Daneshgar told his friends what they wanted to hear: “It’s flower time.” They launched their business, BloomNation, soon afterwards.

3. Seth Priebatsch Took Dedication to a New Level — While Barefoot

In 2011, SCVNGR — a social app similar to FourSquare — was a $100 million company with a rather non-traditional CEO. Founder Seth Priebatsch, the self-described “chief ninja” of the company, was 22 years old at the time, and he had a habit of eschewing footwear at the office. He also sported a bright orange shirt every day and rarely went home from work, preferring to sleep in his office. Priebatsch transformed SCVNGR into a mobile payments platform called LevelUp in 2012, but he kept his title of Chief Ninja and his signature orange shirt.

4. Nicholas Berggruen Decided Not to Bother Buying a House

For most billionaire businesspeople, having more than one home is par for the course. But for years, Nicholas Berggruen avoided ever buying a house at all. He opted to live exclusively in hotels while traveling the world instead, which earned him the curious nickname of “the homeless billionaire.” Recently, though, Berggruen decided to put down some roots. He finally bought a $40 million house in 2017, perhaps wishing to give his two young children a stable place to grow up.

5. Mark Zuckerberg Killed His Own Food

In 2011, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg undertook a personal challenge to only eat meat that he killed himself. He announced this challenge to the world with his now-infamous status update, “I just killed a pig and a goat,” on May 4, 2011. Zuckerberg soon clarified that he took on the challenge in an effort to learn about sustainable farming and to consume resources more responsibly. The change wasn’t permanent, though. After the year-long challenge was over, Zuckerberg went back to buying meat at the store.

6. Clive Palmer Tried to Clone a Dinosaur

What if Jurassic Park wasn’t just a movie? Eccentric Australian businessman Clive Palmer wanted to make dinosaurs a reality through cloning, and he went so far as to discuss the idea with scientists. This happened in 2012, and since cloning techniques still haven’t advanced enough to bring back extinct species, it doesn’t look like Palmer’s dreams will be coming to fruition anytime soon. However, his love for dinosaurs abides. In 2013, he opened a theme park called Palmersaurusthat features over 160 enormous dinosaur replicas.

7. Mark Benioff Staged a Protest to Steal a Competitor’s Spotlight

Mark Benioff, one of the founders of Salesforce, is notorious for coming up with over-the-top (and sometimes inflammatory) marketing gimmicks. Most famously, he once orchestrated a fake protest at a Siebel Systems conference, complete with picket signs, chanting, and even a fake TV crew. This drummed up a lot of attention for Salesforce at his rival’s expense. On another occasion, Benioff arranged to rent an airport’s entire taxi fleet right before another Siebel event was held nearby. He then had his employees pitch Salesforce on the way to the event, much to Siebel’s displeasure.

8. Robert Klark Graham Tried to Create a Genius Sperm Bank

Robert K. Graham was an entrepreneur who invented shatter-proof lenses for eyeglasses. Today, though, he’s probably better remembered for the controversial sperm bank he started. Called the Repository for Germinal Choice, this sperm bank only accepted donations from people who were considered extraordinary in some way. Some were Nobel prize winners, some were geniuses, and some were gifted athletes. Graham’s reason for starting the sperm bank? He wanted to create a better human gene pool — a mission that did not go over well with many people, who compared his ideas to Nazi eugenics programs. The sperm bank was closed in 1999, two years after Graham’s death. It claimed to have produced 229 children during its 19 years of operation.

Wrapping Up

Entrepreneurship tends to attract people with unique minds and strong personalities, and that can make for a lot of interesting stories. Do you have any wacky entrepreneur moments of your own to share? We’d love to read your stories, whether inspiring or just plain entertaining, below!


This article was first published at www.medium.com


10 Different Ways To Encourage Youth Entrepreneurship


By Robyn D. Shulman


Social Entrepreneurs


I cover the intersection of education and entrepreneurship.


In 2010, world-renowned education and innovation expert, Sir Ken Robinson released a short animated film, titled Changing Education Paradigms. In the video, Robinson argues that our current education system stifles and anesthetizes creativity while it lowers the capacity for divergent thinking.

Robinson states, “Divergent thinking is not the same thing as creative thinking, but that it is an essential capacity for creativity.” He also refers to a paper clip study in the book Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future Today, by George Land and Beth Jarman. The paper clip study followed 1,500 kindergarten students through elementary, middle and high school.

As the students moved up through grade levels, the authors asked the question: “How many uses can you think of for a paper clip?” When the authors first proposed the question in kindergarten, 98% of students scored at genius level in divergent thinking. By the age of 10 years old, only 32% of the same group scored as high, and by age 15, only 10% remained at genius level.

Rather than developing the natural gifts of curiosity and high-level thinking, the traditional teaching model we still use today can stifle creativity, innovation, and divergent thinking.

Unfortunately, for most, our current school system does not align with 21st-century student needs, or the rapid changes we see on an economic, social, and global level.

Many parents are not aware of the misalignment between education and the unknown jobs of tomorrow. The common belief about securing a job right out of college no longer holds true. In fact, for many, college is simply not the right path. According to Student Loan Hero, Americans owe over $1.4 trillion in student loan debt, and the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt. Although unemployment rates have dropped, many Millennials work in low-paying, entry-level positions far away from their field of undergraduate studies.

Given these statistics, it is critical for all adults to pave a better road for the next generation and to encourage entrepreneurship.

If you have a young child or work with children, here are ten things you can do now to introduce entrepreneurship skills early.

Encourage divergent thinking:

Through informal discussions, ask open-ended questions, work on problem-solving, share ideas and build on learning experiences together. Teach children to question, research, and ask for further information. Ask them to take notice of things in their daily lives. For example, when they see a problem or feel frustrated about something, ask them how they would solve the issue, or make it better. Let your child guide, discover and make connections on their own. When the opportunity presents itself, practice divergent thinking at home.

Create a safe-space for ideas:

Divergent thinking is most likely to thrive in a safe environment that welcomes all types of ideas, encourages risk-taking and allows for fast failure. Kids who feel safe are more likely to share ideas, step outside of their comfort zones, and take on more challenges. You can support divergent thinking, encourage individual expression and foster creativity by building a safe space for youth.

Challenge ideas:

Encourage your children to ask why we do things in a certain way. Teach them to look at problems and find various solutions. When we make challenges, it forces us to begin thinking of alternatives.

Encourage leaders through ownership:

Praise kids for unique ideas to solving problems, and for having the confidence to share their solutions. You can also refer to their ideas with unique names such as “Stacy’s Solution” or “Anthony’s Answers.”

Build an Idea Box:

When I taught middle school, many parents asked me how to encourage innovation at home. In my classroom, I kept an empty box for students to drop idea notes. When they had an idea, figured out how to solve a problem, or noticed how to make an improvement, they wrote down their thoughts, and added them to the “Idea Box.” At the end of the week, we went through these various ideas together.

You can create an “Idea Box” at home while including the entire family. Using this strategy can encourage everyone to share new possible ventures, foster communication skills, and build confidence in a group setting.

After you’ve gone through some viable ideas, encourage kids to take action.

Provide experiences:

Take your kids to different places and let them explore. Pay attention to their natural curiosities and guide them toward those interests. As they grow, you can begin to see naturally born passions. Their creativity and innovation will come to the forefront when they participate in things they enjoy doing.

Let kids fail:

Let your children fail and teach them how to learn from their mistakes. Show them how to get back up, self-reflect on what they learned, and move on. Failure teaches kids how to be resilient in any situation, and it is critical for building self-confidence and a healthy mindset.

Financial literacy:

Schools do not teach financial literacy nearly as much as they should. Introduce money early on and give them goals and responsibilities for managing their finances. Show them the importance of saving and investing. Open a savings or checking account with them. If possible, give them an incentive to save money by offering a matching contribution.

Model positive relationships:

Entrepreneurs understand the importance of pursuing and building meaningful relationships. People like to work with and purchase goods from those they find likeable. Talk with your kids about their friendships, and focus on the importance of compassion, giving back and listening.

Communicate:

Many nights, my daughter and I chat about my work day and her school day. Through these casual conversations, she understands the power she has to go after her dreams while understanding reality at the same time. Make communication a priority as well as a safe place to talk about ideas, answer questions, and be a sounding board. Communication is key to divergent thinking, creativity, and successful entrepreneurship, and the model must start at home.

By cultivating continuous improvement in these areas, we can give children the confidence to move outside their comfort zones, provide mental tools for growth, encourage creativity and support future entrepreneurs.

Although some schools are embracing this new way of thinking, many are still far behind in the industrial age of teaching and learning. Don’t depend on a school to bring these critical skills and successful life strategies to the forefront.

Always keep the paper clip in mind. Encourage your kids to see their paper clips in many different ways throughout their school years. You may find your child is a natural born entrepreneur.

If you are interested in divergent thinking, education, creativity, and entrepreneurship, you will find tremendous value in the video below presented by RSA Animate and Sir Ken Robinson


I am honored to be named LinkedIn’s #1 Top Voice in Education, 2018. I am also the founder of EdNews Daily and the Managing Editor at Influencer Inc. In addition, I also…MORE
Honored to be named LinkedIn’s #1 Top Voice in Education, 2018. Certified K-9 and ESL teacher, Executive Editor, Influencer Inc and currently run all thought-leadership pieces for 51Talk, China.


This article was first published at www.forbes.com